Another trip down memory lane this week – a quick tour of Como City and its environs (you can find an excellent visitor’s guide here) where we stayed on our first trip to the lake in 2009.
We only had 3 nights here on this trip and arrived mid afternoon on the first day, which gave us in effect 2 full days. Our first evening greeted us with a bang in the form of a spectacular thunderstorm, which lit up the lake and thwarted plans for a relaxing stroll round the lake followed by dinner. We made it as far as the little bar on the corner of Piazza Cavour (our hotel the Metropole Suisse was on the opposite corner). Aperitivos turned into pizza as we contemplated how to get back to our hotel without getting soaked!
Next day was much brighter! Although as we rode up to Brunate on the funicular railway (see here), we could see the post rain haze persisting over the mountains. In the afternoon we took a short cruise on Lake Como up to some of the villages in the lower part of the lake, including Moltrasio.
The southern end of the lake is far more built up than the central lakeside villages (Bellagio, Varenna, Menaggio etc) but it is stunningly beautiful as well. Its proximity to Milan, about an hour’s drive away, and the major road and rail transport links make it an attractive proposition. It’s also only 15 minutes to the Italian/Swiss border point at Chiasso. We’d come down on the train from Lucerne in Switzerland via Lugano and to avoid further travelling opted to stay in Como itself although we headed up to the central lake by ferry on our last full day in Italy.
Each day we walked on the lakeside promenade and admired the gorgeous wisteria and the elegant Villa Olmo. The latter is a neoclassical villa built at the end of the 18th century and now used mainly for cultural events and exhibitions. We also watched the seaplanes of the Como Aero Club taking off and landing – a different way to see the lake though we didn’t book a flight!
Como has delightfully elegant streets, lovely shops and many churches and museums. In the Piazza Duomo you’ll find the late gothic cathedral dating from 1396. It wasn’t completed until the early 18th century when the cupola was added. The beautiful facade was constructed from 1455-1486. On our second night we enjoyed a superb meal at one of the many restaurants dotted round the piazza perimeter.
Our final day was spent exploring the central part of the lake stopping off at Bellagio and later Menaggio, which I’ve covered in detail in the posts about our most recent trip. It was aperitivos in Menaggio on our last day (see here) that made us determined to come back to this part of the world one day and we were lucky enough to do so this April.
On the far side of the lakeside promenade in Como, you come to a small harbour with pretty views back towards Villa Olmo across the lake. The whole street at this point is lined with little cafes and restaurants. On our last night, we enjoyed a lovely dinner here sitting outside on the lakeside terrace. Like many Como restaurants the one we chose specialised in fish dishes fresh from the lake.
The rain stayed away and we were treated to a wonderful sunset over the lake with stunning colours of pinks, peaches and lilacs – a fitting way to end our first trip to Lake Como!
Copyright © 2016 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved